Blackpool have long been linked with a move for Nottingham Forest full-back Jordan Gabriel.
The 22-year-old spent last season on loan with The Seasiders, playing a vital role in the eventual promotion from League One.
Since returning to the Midlands, Gabriel started Forest’s first three games of the season, but on the third, he was given his marching orders after two yellow cards.
Gabriel’s inclusion in Chris Hughton’s starting XI’s of late is more to do with a lack of options, and it has previously been reported that if Forest can find a replacement, then Gabriel could be allowed to depart.
Critchley’s side are also expected to fight it out with Sunderland if Gabriel is allowed to leave this summer, although, The Seasiders have the promise of Championship football to their name.
With Gabriel back in the Midlands and other right-back option Ollie Turton now with Huddersfield Town, the right-back area has emerged as an area of prioritisation. Midfielder Callum Connolly has been tasked with filling the full-back void, and whilst he has made a good start to the season, one would expect that one versatile option is not enough going into the season.
One full-back that is a free agent and could bolster the squad if Gabriel does depart is former Luton Town man Martin Cranie.
The 34-year-old would certainly differ from the type of players that the club have been recruiting thus far, with Blackpool seemingly targeting youthful talent over Championship experience.
However, second-tier know-how can be vital in a club’s first season in the division and that is exactly what Cranie is about.
The defender was brought in at Luton ahead of their promotion to the Championship, playing in numerous different roles as they confirmed survival on the final day of the season.
It is not just this sense of experience that Cranie brings, he is also an extremely versatile option. Primarily operating. as a full-back with Luton, he also impressed at centre-back and as a holding midfielder during his two years with the club. He was even trusted at left-back when The Hatters were short of options.
Cranie is also a composed and assured defender, who likes to pass the ball from defence and trusts his ability in possession when in tight scenarios.
He also thrives off a physical battle, and his aerial ability makes him a great option in both boxes.